Today may be the last 80+ degree days of the year in Chicago. While I loved stepping outside in summer clothes and feeling the warm sun I also felt a little twinge of dread. Autumn is not my favorite season. I have tried to shift my attitude about autumn. I’m aware that it’s a beautiful time of the year. I love the oranges and yellows of fall, and feel a sense of exhilaration from the crisp air. But, at the same time I feel a little anxious. I know that this beauty is short lived and as each day grows shorter I know that winter is not far behind.

People who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) know this anxious feeling well. SAD is well known and documented. Approximately 3 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with SAD. A few sufferers of SAD come to see me each year, as the depression that they feel can be quite debilitating. But this feeling of dread in the autumn feels like something different to me. I, for one, don’t suffer from SAD. I have a strong dislike of winter, but I don’t become truly depressed.

So, out of curiosity I googled “autumn worry” and was surprised to find several articles on the topic of “Autumn Anxiety”. I had not known that Autumn Anxiety had received enough attention to get its own designation but I’m not too surprised to see it. I think it’s a tough transition period for a lot of people.

I’m attaching an article on Autumn Anxiety that I found useful. It gives a brief description of the problem and where it comes from, which is a combination of shorter and darker days, along with busier schedules that are often filled with change.  More importantly, it provides some ideas on activities and practices you can engage in to reduce anxiety in autumn. These include calming activities such as deep breathing exercises, as well as health specific antidotes such as increasing vitamin D and magnesium, and paying attention to seasonal allergies. Take a look at the article for a more detailed description.

If you find you’re having more serious symptoms of anxiety or depression than can be helped with these simple tips, please consider seeing a counselor or therapist. At Compatible Counseling Solutions, we’re always happy to help with an assessment to determine the best steps for you to take.

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